Playing the Bad News Game gives students valuable insight into the real-life tactics used to spread fake news.
Build a Fake News Empire!
Disinformation and fake news is a significant challenge in today’s society. It is more important than ever to be able to critically assess different sources and identify the typical features of disinformation and fake news, in order to make informed decisions as consumers, as participants in public debates and as voters in elections.
In the Bad News Game, qualities such as integrity, ethics and honest facts are secondary. Here you become the creator of fake news and your main goal is to provoke, lie, falsify, frighten, cheat etc. in order to gain the largest online following possible. By using and understanding the methods of the real-life people who spread false information, you will hopefully be better equipped to expose examples of it and critically discuss this important topic.
A note for teachers about playing the game in class
The game takes approximately 20 minutes to complete.
A recommended approach is to first play the game and then discuss the techniques that the students have used. We recommend dividing students into pairs and having them play the game together while actively thinking about what they’re doing. The game should give them valuable insight into the various principles of disinformation and clearly show how easy it is to manipulate information.
Click here to play: Start the Bad News Game
- During the game you will have earned badges for impersonation, emotion, discrediting, trolling, polarization and conspiracy. Explain what is meant by each of these terms.
- What do you think motivates people to create and spread fake news?
- Write your own fake news story (up to 300 words). Explain how you have used skills associated with at least three of the badges from the game to make your story "click-worthy".